LOUD WOMEN eZine Issue #7 | Vanessa Govinden | Emily C. Smith | DOLLS | The Franklys 
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Photo (C) Keira Anee

heroes of the month: G.L.O.S.S.

Washington queer hardcore punx G.L.O.S.S. recently turned down a $50,000 record deal from Epitaph Records, which is distributed by Warner Brothers.

Singer Sadie Switchblade said on the band's instagram, "we can't ethically partner with them. I would be lying if I said that this isn't tempting or that it's not deeply validating to be pursued by the label that put out the bands that got me through high school - Rancid, The Distillers, Osker, etc. I spent those years with a frown on my face and headphones on my ears, walking the halls and holding on to that music for dear life. But we want G.L.O.S.S. to be a threat to entrenched models - at the very least to be exciting."

Sounds exciting to us. Check out their Bandcamp here.

Now That's What I Call 
Vol.7, Video 1

BUGEYE: Never Let You Go
Never Let You Go
Photo (C) Keira Anee

badass lady power pop picnic

If there's one thing we love more than a good playlist, it's a good playlist compiled by legendary music journalist (and friend of LOUD WOMEN) Terry Staunton. This one is a doozy. Handbags in the middle of the room and shake a tailfeather to these shimmering power pop classics.

You gotta watch them all!

LOUD WOMEN eZine issue #7

LOUD WOMEN is a DIY collective that champions women in music. This eZine will bring you the latest scoop on women-led music, events, ideas and action that we love and you want to hear about. And if that floats your boat, get involved and contribute to the next one!

our next gig:

Friday 7 October, T.Chances Tottenham – we're teaming up with our rocking sisters at Who Run the World promotions to hold a big fundraiser as part of the We Shall Overcome festival. Starring:
  • The Empty Page
  • Dream Nails
  • Little Fists
  • Charmpit
Full deets on the Facebook event

first listen: emily c. smith

Emily C. Smith is part of the LOUD WOMEN furniture/family! She's got an awesome new EP out, 'Far from Judd', and she's given us an exclusive first listen through this top secret link. I'm listening to 'Slow Death' on a loop here - totally my cup of tea. Learn the songs and you can come and sing along at the next LOUD WOMEN show. Also check out Emily C Smith on Facebook.
Manchester Ladyfest returns next weekend, with a line-up featuring "12 bands, 11 DJs, 15 free feminist workshops, 20 community group stalls, 3 poets, 3 comedians, a choir, 2 ex-members of The Fall, an honorary member of The Slits, 400+ attendees, and all the hot feminist discourse you can handle - plus a screening of Clueless". Perfect.
Now That's What I Call 
Vol.7, Video 2

Argonaut: Vintage Dress
Argonaut - 'VINTAGE DRESS' - Out Monday 13th May (Criminal Records) - The Story So Far


Can you believe it's a year since we held the first ever LOUD WOMEN club! To celebrate, here are some top stats:

💋No. of acts who've played a LW night: 63
💋No. of events held: 21
💋No. of venues who've hosted us: 8
💋Bands who have played the most:
1st place - The Wimmins' Institute (9 times)
joint 2nd place - Argonaut and Dream Nails (5 times each)
3rd place - Grace Petrie (4 times)
💋Cash raised for Women's Aid - £1,834.57
💋Fun times had - squillions and billions

Excellent work, let's keep it up! 😘💪🎸🎤

introducing: dolls

by tim forster
DOLLS: singer/guitarist Jade Ellins and drummer Belinda (Bel) Conde

you've been together 2 years. did you have a clear idea of the sort of sound you wanted from the start, or has the DOLLS sound evolved?
jade: When we were first jamming together I was still very much in my 'blues rock' stage. So every song was very riff-based, with wailing vocals. I was a bit scared to use more pop-based chords back then as I thought it might sound cheesy. I got into listening to more punk and ‘arty’ bands such as Bikini Kill, Sonic Youth and Ought about a year ago so our sound changed a lot. I realised pop chords weren’t the problem, it was more what you did with them. Now there is hardly a blues riff in sight!

how would you describe your sound now?
bel: I think our sound is a mixture of wanting to ‘get out’ what frustrates us about the current society we live in, with a touch of Jade’s ballsy vocals and my loud drums. We like to make an impact through our music and really reach out to our audience.

what were your early musical influences?
jade: My parents are both musicians so music was always around. Pretty much as soon as I could move they gave me a guitar. Thank God! I loved classic rock bands when I was little as my Dad used to play them all the time in the car, like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. I also loved a bit of Britney and Christina though, I still do!

bel: I didn’t come from a musical background at all – I had to fight my mum over the years to get a drum kit! My early influences were serious heavy and nu metal bands, such as Slipknot and SOAD. Hehe…

how does the creative process work: is it collaborateive, or is there one main songwriter?
jade: I generally will have the chords and a basic structure of a song ready before I take it to Bel and our other co-writer, Sam. I find it really difficult to get songs out of jamming and rather have some time to myself first to decide what kind of song it will be. A few songs have formed out of us jamming them on the spot, like ‘Kid Kannibal’, but that is quite rare now. Other times Bel may come up with a drum beat that I find inspiring or Sam may come up with some chords that I want to work with. 

you were excellent at LOUD WOMEN fest! is it on stage where you are most at home, or in the studio?
jade: Thank you! Performing on stage is definitely why I do this. It’s actually my favourite thing to do! That’s why I don’t mind us gigging all the time and never understood when other bands would complain about it. The studio is still bit of a weird environment for me, however we have just been recording four songs with Jim Sclavunos (Grinderman, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds) which was a brilliant experience. I felt like I needed to go and practise a million hours after working with him as it was so inspiring.

bel: Being onstage is where I feel the most comfortable! I love playing live and I believe that is the best way to put our music across. It’s great to get good feedback from our gigs!

what has your experience been like in the alt rock/punk/DIY scene? is it a better place for women than mainstream culture?

both: The punk DIY scene, where they put on female-fronted bands in particular, has been great. We haven’t experienced any sexism and always feel supported. Which is why these nights exist! The general alt rock punk scene can be very different.
  • "There are a lot of male ‘punk’ bands that still think it’s OK to belittle you, or expect you to be a bit shit as you are a woman."

Some of these bands have even had female members in. I guess sexism is still more dominant in mainstream culture, but it can happen anywhere. 

what bands and writers are you enjoying at the moment?
jade: I’m loving Parquet Courts, Hinds, Angel Olsen, Ought, Queen Pj and the Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds new album is ace!

bel: I really like King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees and when I need to chill out I go for Bowery Electric.

what's next for DOLLS?
both: We have just recorded four tracks. What will happen to those four tracks is still a bit of a mystery. Hopefully they will become super popular, we will become mega rich, and we will be able to finally afford a roadie so we don’t have to carry our shit around with us on the tube!
Thanks to Tim Forster for letting us use this abridged version of his interview. You can read the full version on his blog here.

touring Brexit Britain as a non-white musician

by vanessa govinden

Little Fists: Vanessa (bass), Ste (guitar), Soph (drums). Photo by Matthew Hussey.

Two weeks after Britain voted to leave the EU, I was walking down my street when a guy in a removals van shouted, ‘You’re fucked!’ as he drove past.

I’d like to say that’s the only time I’ve experienced something like that, but it’s not.

I was born and raised in West London, though my parents are first-generation immigrants from Mauritius.

They chose to give me a neutral name – Vanessa – with no religious connotations, which confused a lot of people when I was growing up. ‘Are you Hindu? Are you Muslim? What are you?’

In truth, I was always a bit of a strange kid – a brown girl with dyed red hair and painted blue eyebrows, listening to punk, grunge and metal from the age of nine – who never really fit in until I found my bunch of misfit friends.

But two days after 9/11, I experienced a different sense of division. I was waiting at a bus stop when a car full of guys threw cans at me and shouted, ‘Go back to Pakistan, you fucking terrorist!’

That was the first time I realised that people could view me in the most basic terms – a dark-skinned person – and attack me for it. I’m not trying to play the victim here.

I just want people to know that this stuff still happens and that it can have consequences which aren’t always obvious.

That driver’s taunt rattled me. I had a friend’s birthday to attend that night but I didn’t feel up to leaving the house.

And that’s when it clicked: in two months’ time, my band would be heading on tour around the UK, playing places where the majority of people voted Leave.

I play bass and co-vocalise in Little Fists, a trio from London inspired by the ethos of punk, riot grrrl and queercore.

We decided to release a split seven-inch with Fight Rosa Fight! – a like-minded trio from Cheltenham who play the same type of shows: safe spaces and DIY venues, feminist nights and fundraisers – before going on a week-long tour together.

Then Brexit happened. Social media lit up with stories of people being openly racist and I braced myself for abuse. What had seemed like an amazing opportunity began to make me feel vulnerable.

The dread built up until I had a panic attack the night before the tour. My whole body was tingling – and knowing that I needed a good night’s sleep only made it worse.

It felt like the attack would set a trend for the week ahead: that there would be more nights like this regardless of what happened.

I knew there was every chance that the tour would pass without incident, that I’d be with people who had my back in any situation. But anxiety doesn’t work like that. Sometimes you just can’t reason your way out of it.

Little Fists. Photo by Matthew Hussey.

The next day, approaching the train platform as we were about to leave London, the dread intensified again. But I didn’t want to let my friends down and so I stepped on board, knowing there was no turning back.

The first date of the tour was Queer Fest Nottingham. Last year, when we played the Femmington Spa Queer Fest (in central Warwickshire), an encounter stuck with me.

The venue was in the basement of a pub where some of the regulars were curious to know what was going on downstairs and what was queer about it. One guy asked me, ‘Punk is punk. Why are you making it gay?’

At first I thought maybe he meant that punk was universal and that he couldn’t see any need to put labels on it.

So I invited him downstairs and explained the concept of a safe space – an environment where anyone can feel free to express themselves without fear of being made unwelcome on account of their sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background or any other factor.

He responded by saying, ‘Yeah, but what if someone tries to bum me?’

I think that lack of awareness fed into my anxiety. This wasn’t just about racism.

Little Fists and Fight Rosa Fight! on tour with their driver JC. Photo by Kate Rosanne.

Going on your first tour means putting yourself out there, in unfamiliar places, in front of people who may not see the world the way you do. And I have to admit, there were moments where I questioned the wisdom of doing that.

In Leeds, a friend had a bottle chucked at him and called a faggot while walking home from our gig.

In Liverpool, we popped into a pub to use the bathroom one afternoon and I instantly felt like we were going to get our heads kicked in.

Later that night, our guitarist and co-vocalist Ste (who is Irish) was questioned aggressively about his identity by someone on the street.

In Manchester, another panic attack struck the moment I stepped into a shopping centre. I have no idea what triggered it. That’s the thing about anxiety: it just announces itself without explanation, overpowering the logical part of your brain.

Soph, our drummer and co-vocalist, suggested we get some fresh air. While we were sitting outside a cafe, this man – a normal looking guy in his sixties – came over and got a little too close. He stared at me in disgust and grunted something unintelligible under his breath – a burst of primitive disapproval, basically.

Soph jumped to my defence but the guy simply walked off. That’s the thing connecting these incidents: there’s no conversation; people won’t even stop. It’s cowardly but it still really affects you. And the worst part is that you can’t say anything back.

Little Fists and Fight Rosa Fight! on tour with their driver JC (far left). Photo by Cassie Agbehenu.

The best response was just to get on with the tour which – those moments aside – turned out to be an incredible life experience. The shows went well, the crowds were great and the two bands grew close.

Brexit came up a lot in conversation, but there was a lot less doom and gloom among people than I’d expected. Instead there was a sense of sticking together and getting through it, which, for me, is what the name Little Fists is all about: power in unity.

I’m not a natural performer. I enjoy being in this band but when it comes to playing live, there have been moments where I thought, ‘Why am I forcing myself to get on stage? We could easily just jam every week for the sake of catharsis.’

But by the end of the tour, I just wanted to keep going. My outlook felt much more positive.

Maybe it was the process of facing up to challenging situations, maybe it was realising how lucky I am to have such a supportive network, maybe it was taking comfort in the knowledge that DIY spaces are in much better shape outside London.

I just know the next time we go on tour, I won’t feel so anxious.

Check out Little Fists on Facebook or Bandcamp. AND, come and see them play on 7 Oct at our We Shall Overcome fundraiser at T.Chances.

Article originally published in Huck magazine.

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 The first ever LOUD WOMEN Fest was a ROARING success on 3 Sept. Bob Oram took some neatly organised notes.

Ambitious Twenty five acts across two stages in one day. 
Beautiful The atmosphere, the bands, and the audience. 
Creative Ingenious designs, merchandise and artwork on display
DIY Artists learning as they go along, circumnavigating the mainstream, independent and resourceful. 
Exciting To just be part of this scene and to share the moment. 
Vintage dresses, colourful costumes, style and panache but no snobbery. 
Helpful Raising money for good causes. 
Imaginative Vivid and visionary artists .
Jubilant A living celebration of feminism. 
Kaleidoscopic The range, the quality and colour of the sounds made this an incredible cauldron of talent. 
Luminous Intelligent lyric writers. 
Memorable Moments and performances to treasure and cherish. 
Non-stop Wall-to-wall sound, perfectly stage-managed. 
Overlooked By all the traditional mainstream media. 
Political Passionate, personal and some polemic.
Quintessential The essence of Riot Grrrl.
Resonant With true meaning.
Sparkling Incandescently bright. 
Thunderous Applause.
Unisex Sharing toilets reflected the community spirit. 
Venue Welcoming, friendly, affordable, serving great food and blessed with quality sound engineers. 
Wired Adrenaline excitement.
Xenial Warmth to cherish. 
Yearly There just has to be another one.
Zestful Spirited enjoyment for twelve glorious hours.

[Ed. - wot no F-word?]

interview: the franklys

by tim forster
The Franklys: Jennifer Ahlkvist, Fanny Broberg, Zoe Biggs and Lexi Clark. Tim interviewed the band by email.

could you give us an overview of The Franklys?
Two of us are from Sweden and two from England, and we play frenetic garage rock with heavy and psychedelic overtones á la Led Zeppelin-Blondie-Strokes-QOTSA-punk-pop-rock-madness. We’ve toured across both the UK/Europe and America, including festival slots at Isle of Wight, Download Festival and Camden Rocks, and our debut album is out early 2017!

what artists have influenced you?
Blondie, The Strokes, Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, The Runaways, Green Day, to name but a few. Bands that we are currently enjoying … Petrol Girls, The Tuts, WHITE, La Luz, Muncie Girls and Tom Jones.

how would you describe your sound?
We never want to be put in a ‘box’ so we try to get lots of different elements or the unexpected into our songs, whilst keeping a sort of heavy garage rock backbone to it. We definitely sound different to how we did a few years ago, and that’s great because you want to keep pushing forward. 

you play a broad spectrum of gigs: from Isle of Wight to Download to LOUD WOMEN to small town venues. is it hard to adjust to different settings?
There’s no denying there is a different feeling and vibe to those varying venues, but we never change or try and stifle our performance for anything. Even on the tiniest of stages (or floors!) we are still trying to bring as much energy to it as possible, which usually means a guitar in the face or a cymbal in the back, but it’s all part of it!

the rock scene is historically very macho - but do you think things are improving? Casual sexism, overt sexism … it’s still out there and still happening, of course not only in this industry. Personally I feel like things are improving, but there is such a long way to go and we have to keep pushing for changes. Maybe it’s because of who I follow on Twitter, Instagram etc. but there seem to be a lot more visibility of musicians who are female than there ever was, and it’s getting better every day. But, then again … in the mainstream, I’m not convinced many are breaking through to the public consciousness, which means you have to really seek these out and be motivated to do so.
  • "How many male musicians do you think have had a sound engineer come up to them and try to change the settings on their guitar for them in the middle of a soundcheck? Or has anyone ever said, ‘oh you play well, for a boy’?"

We are still scratching our heads over this A+ comment from a sound engineer the other week ‘oh where’s the drummer, probably gone off to buy some new shoes…’, hmm …

what plans do you have for the coming year?
We are currently finishing up mixing and mastering our debut album, which will be released early next year. It’s been a long time coming and we can’t wait to share it with everyone. And we have just announced a few live dates, which you can check out here. We’ll be celebrating the launch of our new single with a gig at The Shacklewell Arms on 2nd November, hope to see you there!
The Ethical Debating Society @ LOUD WOMEN, The Veg Bar. Copyright Keira Anee 2015

women shall overcome

by cassie fox

Last year, as part of the inaugural We Shall Overcome (WSO) festival, I put on a gig in London.  WSO had 200-plus gigs UK-wide in aide of anti-austerity charities and foodbanks – a massive show of solidarity against an oppressive Tory government.
But it was yet another ‘leftie festie’ ringing the bell for community spirit, but forgetting to include half of the population: nearly all of the events were run by men and featured the same old ‘man bands’. No fun being the only woman at any of those shows.
So, I called my WSO gig ‘LOUD WOMEN’, and sought to redress the balance a little. We had six awesome female acts: Blindness, Dream Nails, Argonaut, Emily C Smith, Janine Booth, and my own band, The Wimmins’ Institute. The venue was the Silver Bullet in Finsbury Park (a club now tragically closed and in the hands of corporate developers).
The gig was a storming success, with a sisterly and inclusive atmosphere, huge fun had, and a big fat wadge of cash raised for our chosen charity, Women’s Aid.
With so many other amazing female musicians needing a supportive platform, it seemed daft not to put on another gig, and another, and another … a year on and LOUD WOMEN has staged 21 events, showcasing 63 women-led acts, and raised over £1,800 for Women’s Aid.
The WSO festival returns this year between 1st and 9th October, with 250 (and counting) gigs lined up across the country. A slightly less man-heavy feel to the festival this year, but, once again, the line-ups of nearly all the gigs listed are predominantly male. With women consistently hit hardest by government cuts, it’s depressing to see female artists omitted from events, or given a low billing.
But LOUD WOMEN will of course be staging our own WSO gig – on 7th October at Tottenham’s T.Chances. This year we’re doing it as a sisterly collaboration with Beth White and Who Run the World promotions, and we’ve got The Empty Page, Dream Nails, Little Fists, and Charmpit playing, and, of course, Janine Booth doing some poetry. Full details here.
A few other WSO events bucking the man-band trend:


  • The brilliantly-named Walthamstow women’s music collective She17 is holding a WSO event in the afternoon of 9th October at Hucks Wine Bar, this one in aid of Age UK. The line-up includes More Peas, Beth White, Mariache17 and Sulk.
  • The Wimmins’ Institute will be joining an otherwise all-male gig on 1st October at Leytonstone Ex Servicemens Club.
  • My very favourite venue in Wales, Le Pub in Newport, is hosting several WSO events, including 8th October with Helen Love, The School and spoken word artist Renn.
  • Glossop Labour Club is putting on an afternoon of female acoustic artists on 9th October: Lesley Anne Davies, Eliza P and Lauren Davidson
  • In Nottingham on 9th October there’s an ‘alternative Sunday service’, including the Bread and Roses Theatre Troupe, the Clarion Choir, and the perfectly named Rosa’s Lovely Daughters.
  • Ulveston hosts US folk duo Hungrytown, and singer songwriter Louise Mary Martin on 7th October

LOUD WOMEN BFFs Argonaut are also getting involved with WSO by releasing an EP in support of Disabled People Against Cuts. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for a great new video too.

After WSO, my full attention goes back to the regular LOUD WOMEN nights, and the next one is a doozy. 21 October at the Hope & Anchor in Islington. Playing are Bratakus (riot grrrl sisters flying down for the gig from the North of Scotland); Madonnatron (hotly tipped punks you may have heard live in session on Radio 6 with Marc Riley this week); Emily C Smith (a LOUD WOMEN returnee – I love her powerful voice); and Brutalistas (DIY sistas with attitute). Tickets £5, and as usual we’ll be raffling CDs, books, and bits-and-bobs from the bottom of our handbags towards the Women’s Aid fund.

Originally published in the new LOUD WOMEN monthly column in The Morning Star newspaper.

lorna draws ... slowcoaches

Slowcoaches were the last band of the night. For the first half of their set there was a big pit of (mostly) women, dancing and good-humoured jostling. At some point the pit was taken over by aggressive men and the singer/bassist of Slowcoaches picked up her mic stand and stepped off the stage and placed her mic stand in the pit and claimed the space as hers. She was thrashing around, all the time playing like a maniac. A guy pushed her and she immediately turned to face him and gave him a don’t-fuck-with-me look. He withered. She won.

Don’t mess with Slowcoaches, they own the whole bloody scene. They rule.

Lorna Tiefholz plays in Rabies Babies and Mountain of Fire and Miracles,
and she draws and blogs at 'Gigs and Pencils'

LOUD WOMEN gigs diary

Fri 7 Oct: Anti-austerity fundraiser T.Chances, Tottenham
To mark the We Shall Overcome week, LOUD WOMEN is teaming up with Who Run the World promotions to bring you a very special show, with: The Empty Page | Dream NailsLittle Fists Charmpit and Janine Booth
Fri 21 Oct @ Hope and Anchor, Islington
Bratakus | Madonnatron | Emily C Smith | Brutalistas
Fri 18 Nov @ Hope and Anchor, Islington
Phoenix Chroi | Thunder on the Left | Lilith's Army | Ex People
Fri 2 Dec @ Veg Bar, Brixton - XMAS GROTTO PARTY!
Watch this space ...

do not miss

The amazingly talented Lilith Ai kicks off her nationwide women's music project, 'Fight Like a Girl', with a launch party at a secret North London location on 8 October. Join the Facebook event here and you'll be messaged on the day with the location details! An awesome line-up, including Me Rex, Lili Caseley, Vanilla, Grove, Sunflower Thieves, Savannah Betts, Pik-c, Chuck Hey and of course Lilith Ai.

want to be in a dream nails music video?

Punk witches from hell Dream Nails are filming their first ever music video – and they need your help!

If you're free on 9 October between 6-12pm you can beat the Sunday blues by being in a crowd of amazing feminists and dancing around to 'Deep Heat'. The venue is LOUD WOMEN's regular home from home, the Hope & Anchor in Islington.

There will be some exclusive merch made especially for video stars taking part. See you there!

Event details here


do not miss

Another awesome night from #Genesisters coming up on 5 November: a film, live music from Estrons, DJs til late, cocktails, cupcakes and zines. Perfect night out and all for a tenner. Love it!
Tickets here

free download: murmur tooth

Berlin-based grunge-pop Brits Murmur Tooth have just released a new EP and are kindly offering it as a free download! Have a listen here.

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Deap Vally - Gonnawanna
Now That's What I Call 
Vol.7, Video 3

Deap Vally: Gonnawanna

That's all folks!

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